Australian T3 - - RATED -

Live with a ro­bot vac­uum for just a few weeks and two things will quickly be­come clear; you don’t vac­uum nearly enough and your idea of ‘clean’ is not es­pe­cially clean. And this goes for clean freaks and slovenly slobs alike, be­cause ro­bot vac­u­ums are re­lent­less, ruth­less clean­ing ma­chines. They don’t do ‘a quick once around’, they’re metic­u­lous and driven to cover ev­ery inch of floorspace.

But even our best buy – the Roomba – is far from the per­fect cleaner. In a head­to­head with our mum it would fail mis­er­ably. Ro­bot vacs can’t tackle the stairs for one thing, and de­spite hav­ing ad­vanced map­ping tech­nol­ogy, cam­eras and even laser guid­ance, they get stuck on rugs, jammed be­tween chair legs and cause havoc with ca­bles.

None of th­ese mod­els are de­signed to re­place a nor­mal vac­uum, but what they all do well is tak­ing the edge off the weekly clean – es­pe­cially if you have pets. If you live a min­i­mal­ist ex­is­tence in a pent­house apart­ment then, thanks to your new ro­bot friend, you may never need to vac­uum again, but if you have a house full of kids, toys, pets and gen­eral chaos, you might find your­self with one more thing to tidy away when you get home from work.

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